The Transnationalization of White Supremacist Discourse: The Hundred-Handers and the It’s Okay To Be White Campaign

The terrorist attacks perpetrated by white supremacists in the United States, New Zealand, Germany, and other western countries in the past two years illustrate the transnationalization of the extreme-right.[1] This process occurs online, in discussion rooms on Telegram, Discord servers and other social networks and Internet forums; and offline, in marches,[2] music festivals,[3] and even by volunteering to fight in foreign wars, such as in Syria-Iraq and Ukraine.[4]

In this war on ideas, white supremacists from North America to Russia and Australia spread revolutionary narratives by using codes and symbols aimed to recruit and mobilize fellow whites. According to professor Cynthia Miller-Idriss, “youth use these codes to communicate with other insiders but also to navigate social stigma and circumvent federal and state bans on right-wing extremist symbols,” which are also often banned in specific settings such as  schools and stadiums.[5]

One of these symbols is the “Okay” sign, emoji (?) and hand-gesture, which also evolved to the slogan “it’s ok to be white.”[6] While the slogan “it’s okay to be white” dates to the early 2000s,[7] the okay hand-gesture became a radical right transnational meme in recent years, especially after it was used by the Christchurch shooter in court.[8] Other variations of this slogan, such as #Itsoktobewhite and #IOTBW, have been used to such an extent that this trope has become known as the “5 words” (echoing David Lane’s infamous “14 words”: “We must secure the existence of our people and a future for white children”).[9]

In 2019 alone, more than 120,000 tweets included the #ItsOkayToBeWhite hashtag. These tweets raised suspicions about a campaign aimed to provoke racial conflict between whites and non-whites.[10] Indeed, a new white supremacist, cross-platforms and transnational campaign called “The Hundred-Handers” (HH) started in 2018, with the goals of provoking reactions from both sympathizers and rivals, and mobilizing the former from the Internet to the streets.[11] Regarding its name, the initials of the Hundred-Handers (HH) create another popular white supremacist term, which is also represented in the number 88 and stands for Heil Hitler. The man behind the HH was exposed by the anti-racist center HOPE not hate as Sam Melia, a British far-right activist who in November 2016 marched with National Action, the now-proscribed neo-Nazi terrorist organization, in Darlington.[12]

The HH campaign was named after creatures from the Greek mythology “who brought down the Titans,” as a promotional flyer of the campaign explains. HH describes itself as an anonymous “network of activists, each one a powerful one-man cell” and supplies white supremacists with a store of slogans able to be easily distributed. The weapon is a printer, and the battlefields are the online social networks. Alongside the “it’s ok to be white”, the HH propagates slogans such as “open borders for Israel,” “we’re more than a passport. Blood and Soil,” “capitalism + communism – two sides of the same Shekel,”; “diversity becomes replacement”; or “mass immigration is an attack on the working class”.

Screenshot of the HH Telegram channel (August 13, 2020)The HH campaign started on Twitter, with an account that operated from May 2018 to February 2019, when it was removed by Twitter. By the time of its removal, the account had 5,000 followers. The Twitter account shared a link to Telegram, in which the HH operates a channel since April 2019. In late February, this channel had more than 3,400 subscribers, and by mid-August it had more than 5,000 subscribers. There are also an inactive and unofficial Gab account that was created in November 2019, and a Telegram channel that is called “It’s Okay To Be White 2019 Archive” that was created in the same month.[13] The Archive is hosted on Telegram and, from where the posters can be downloaded.[14] The HH flyers and messages circulate on different social networks, as well as in different countries, including the United States, Britain, Germany, Spain, the Netherlands, Switzerland and Austria.

Most of the activity took place in Britain, and it is linked to the white supremacist hooligan group, the Pie and Mash Squad (meant to rhyme with ‘fash’, for fascists’, and formerly known as the Casuals United).[15] This group uses the same messages as the HH campaign, such as “it’s ok to be white” and “5w”,[16] HH messaging on its Telegram channel.[17] The Pie and Mash Telegram channel was created on January 20, 2020. The first message on this channel contains an image featuring the flag of England, a white girl (wearing a CP Company shirt) in centrally-placed it, the name Pie and Mash Squad below it, and the declaration “it’s ok to be Aryan” above it. On the left side of the flag appears the “5w” code, and on the right, the aforementioned “14w”.

Screenshot of the first post on the Pie and Mash Squad Telegram channel (February 27, 2020)

The HH campaign hopes that, through individuals disseminating white supremacist messages, more whites will be radicalized to join the “resistance”. In this manner, it recalls the theory of “leaderless resistance”. According to this terrorist tactic, only guerrilla warfare led by decentralized small groups (“phantom cell networks”) or autonomous individuals (e.g. “lone-wolves”) can attract more whites who, as Bruce Hoffman explains, “would eventually join together to create a chain reaction leading to a nationwide white supremacist revolution.”[18]

Yet the HH campaign is also linked to organized groups sharing the same worldview and goals. For example, in the United States, members of the white nationalist group New Jersey European Heritage Association demonstrated in November 2018 with “it’s ok to be white” banners.[19] HH messages are also being used to mark territory, as the battle is not limited to the Internet nor to a specific country, but applies to any country where whites are allegedly being “replaced”.[20] As the “Head” of the HH campaign said in an interview: “[w]hile we will never abandon the online fight completely we must realize that the battlefield is broader. We can shout all day into social media but our enemies are active in the real world and we must meet them there.” [21]

The HH campaign is trying to build bridges between white supremacists from around the world with shared conspiracy theories, hatred, and ideology, regardless of their nationality or organizational affiliation. In combining online and offline activity, and by using popular white supremacist slogans to do so, the HH became widely known amongst the radical right, and was imitated by similar campaigns in the United States, such as The Print Shop, which describes itself as “The propaganda wing of the war to destroy Jewish degeneracy” and disseminates racist and antisemitic messages, including incitement to violence.[22] Such messages, echoed in the manifestos of white supremacist terrorists in recent years, should not be regarded as empty rhetoric, but as propaganda potentially leading to political violence against those regarded as the enemies of the white race.

Screenshot of The Print Shop Telegram channel (August 13, 2020)

Dr Ariel Koch is a Senior Fellow at CARR and a Researcher at The Middle East Network Analysis Desk at the Moshe Dayan Center for Middle Eastern and African Studies, Tel Aviv University, Israelty. See full profile here.

©Ariel Koch. Views expressed on this website are individual contributors and do not necessarily reflect that of the Centre for Analysis of the Radical Right (CARR). We are pleased to share previously unpublished materials with the community under creative commons license 4.0 (Attribution-NoDerivatives).

[1]White Supremacy Extremism: The Transnational Rise of the Violent White Supremacist Movement”, The Soufan Center, September 2019.

[2] Michael Colborne, “Neo-Nazis from across Europe rally in Budapest”, Al-Jazeera, 8 Feb 2020.

[3] Michael Colborne, “The Upcoming neo-Nazi Concert in Ukraine That No One Is Talking About”, Haaretz, June 18, 2019.

[4] Ariel Koch, “The Non-Jihadi Foreign Fighters: Western Right-Wing and Left-Wing Extremists in Syria”. Terrorism and Political Violence, 2019: 1-28. DOI: 10.1080/09546553.2019.1581614; Simon Purdue, “Foreign Fighters and the Global War for White Supremacy”, Fair Observer, Feb 18, 2020.

[5] Cynthia Miller-Idriss, The Extreme Gone Mainstream: Commercialization and Far Right Youth Culture in Germany (UK: Princeton University Press, 2017), p. 54.

[6]Okay Hand Gesture”, Anti-Defamation League, [n.d.]

[7] Ibid.; Michael Edison Hayden, “It’s ok to be white: how Fox News is helping to spread neo-Nazi propaganda”, November 19, 2017.

[8] “Okay Hand Gesture”, Anti-Defamation League, [n.d.].

[9]14 Words“, Anti-Defamation League, [no date].

[10] Rachel Lau, “#ItsOkayToBeWhite is trending on Twitter (again) and people are not ok”, CTV News Montreal, December 31, 2019.

[11] JDaniel Richer, “Meet the Anonymous White Advocacy Group Bringing Back The Printing Press”, Undermine News, May 29, 2019.

[12] Gregory Davis, “Exposed: The Anonymous Nazi Activist Behind The Hundred Handers Network”, HOPE not hate, August 11, 2020.

[13]It’s Okay To Be White 2019 Archive”, Telegram (accessed February 27, 2020)

[14] The Hundred-Handers online platforms (all platforms beside the Twitter account, which was deleted by Twitter somewhere in mid-February 2020, were accessed on February 27, 2020):

[15] Gerry Gable, “A second warning for antifascists: thousands on the streets of London as far right reorganizes”, Searchlight Magazine, June 27, 2017; Liam Thorp, “Far right groups spreading messages and trying to recruit at Liverpool and Everton games”, The Liverpool Echo, February 1, 2020.

[16] @hostileholly5w, Twitter, February 26, 2020. (accessed February 27, 2020)

[17] The Pie and Mash platforms (accessed February 27, 2020):

[18] Bruce Hoffman, Inside Terrorism (USA, NY: Columbia University Press, 2017, third edition), p. 123.

[19] Krystal Knapp, “‘It’s OK to be white’ march organizers claim Princeton event was hoax (updated)”, Planet Princeton, January 11, 2019

[20] The idea of “replacement” is another popular idea among nowadays white supremacists. This idea motivated white terrorists from Norway, the United States and Australia. See: Murtaza Hussain, “New Zealand Suspect’s Actions Are Logical Conclusion of Calling Immigrants ‘Invaders’”, The Intercept, March 18 2019.

[21] Richer, “Meet the Anonymous White Advocacy Group Bringing Back The Printing Press”, Undermine News, May 29, 2019.

[22] The Print Shop’s channel was created in April 2020, and it currently has more than 260 subscribers. On June 13, 2020, it uploaded a poster that calls the murder black people accompanied with the hashtag “#whitelivesmatter”. See: The Print Shop, Telegram (accessed August 13, 2020)